Anthony Uto’s 1940 Graphic Design

I got totally distracted this morning digging into these amazing color Library of Congress photos that Freddie Norton pinned. There is one from Brockton, Mass that caught my eye–it’s the newspaper headlines posted in the window of the local newspaper office in 1940. But it wasn’t the headlines as much as the Japanese flag-like advertisement that drew me in. Freddie’s done a great job pinning these photos, as he linked to the original photo on the Library of Congress website (you can see the details by clicking “copyright and photo info” when you’re on the details view of the photo in Historypin, which links back to the original photo location). This allowed me to download the super-hi-res version of the photo to capture the zoom seen above, and realize it’s an ad for Anthony Uto’s 4 chair barber shop, and see the other sign in the shadow just around the corner. Some very smart advertising, particularly given the time.

Oh, and notice the headline for the New England earthquake!

There are some great comments and further information about this photo, including Grandfather Uto, over on Shorpy, as well as on Flickr both here and here.

Leyland Festival on the Map

Leyland FestivalClick to watch the Leyland Festival video

Thanks to brian.taylor50 who has shared this great video clip of the 1975 Leyland Festival in Lancashire. Dating back to the 1890s when it was know as the ‘May Festival’, it has been revived in recent years.

Do you remember the Leyland Festival? Share your photos or stories about it, and help build up the history of the festival from the 1890s to today.

If you’d like to share video or audio recording on Historypin, contact Rebekkah on

Solving Mystery pins in Brooklyn, NYC

Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge Back in July, Brooklyn Museum approached us to help get a set of their photos geo-tagged and pinned to the Historypin map. The Brooklyn Team set up #mapBK and a ‘Mystery Pins’ group on Flickr and released a collection of 300 photos. Together we reached out to Brooklynites and Historypinners to help geo-tag them and in just a few weeks over half had been identified and pinned to the map, tripling Brooklyn’s share of pins in NYC.

Pins in BrooklynWe’re working on integrating more crowd-sourcing tools into Historypin, including geo-tagging games. So from next year institutions will be able to harness the Historypin community to geo-code their content by pinning it to the Historypin map.

A big thanks to everyone who helped with the #mapBK project. If you want to do some detective work there are still some Mystery Pins to solve, and you can read more about #mapBK and the Brooklyn Museum here.

Historypin and Linked Open Data at the Smithsonian

As part of our mission to provide resources and tools for libraries, archives, and museums, the Smithsonian Institution hosted a brown bag lunch workshop on Historypin on Sept. 14, followed by a day of Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums (“LODLAM”) on Sept. 16, 2011. This included the presentation, An Introduction to Linked Open Data in Libraries, Archives & Museums. The talk was webcast live and archived thanks to the generous support of the Smithsonian CTO Series. I’d also like to thank Effie Kapsalis for her amazing organizing efforts around these events, the many staff at the Smithsonian who helped make this a reality, and a great group of participants. The LODLAM events were also supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Endowment of the Humanities, through their support of the LODLAM Summit.

Below are the slides. Both the video presentation and the slides are available as CC BY for you to use as you see fit.

Launch of Pinning Reading’s History Exhibition

Last night Pinning Reading’s History exhibition launched, attended by over a hundred people including local archivists, teachers, residents, community groups and Historypin Champions & volunteers from all around Reading and beyond.

Nick Stanhope, Historypin CEO, spoke about Reading’s rich history and encouraged everyone in Reading to dig out their photos and share them on Historypin.

It was a fantastic evening, with many stories shared, some new archives discovered and lots of excitement to start digging out and pinning Reading’s history.

Thanks to everyone who came, and we look forward to working with you to share Reading’s history over the coming months.The exhibition showcases some of the content collected so far and runs until January 8th. Soane space at Reading Museum
Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm.

Drop-in session every Friday, 2-4pm, Soane space, Reading Museum.Meet our volunteers, and bring your stories & photos to scan and pin or contact Amanda Holland on or 07527 931325 to arrange a time to come in and share your history.

We would also like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for the funding that has made this project possible.

Remembering 9/11, Time and History

Firefighters at Ground Zero, on Historypin, photo from the Library of Congress.

On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, there is a lot of thinking back and reliving and remembering the events of that day.  The shock, the disbelief, the horror.  For me, being in Durham, North Carolina, it was frantically tracking down my friends in New York, picking up my then 1 year old from daycare and going home to be within arms reach of my loved ones.   That feeling, so vivid then, of what was most important when everything around us was changing and uncertain.

I often think of history as something far removed from me, some distant past romantically retold and captured on glass plate negatives.  Something so distant that it may be some place to travel to and observe, to learn from.  But this day reminds me that it’s every passing moment, and that any unexpected second, everything can change.  I was struck by that after reading the “collective diary” in the New York Times assembled from some of the many stories recorded by the Columbia Center for Oral History just after 9/11. It’s also powerfully illustrated by the stories shared in the collaboration between and the September 11 Memorial.

For me, as I suspect for many, the immediacy of what happened on 9/11 faded over time, and it wasn’t until a recent visit to New York that I realized how I had not really faced my memories of that day.  Though I visit New York several times a year and have many close friends and family there, the financial district is almost never my destination, save a trip on the Staten Island Ferry.  But this past June, I ended up booking a room in the Marriott at Ground Zero, just across the street from where the photo above was taken. I was overwhelmed with the anxiety of revisiting the scene of all of these images burned in my mind. In the end, it was comforting to be there and to remember.

Mary Marshall Clark, director of Columbia’s Oral History Research Office, wrote of their 9/11 project in the Journal of American History a year later, “It also tells us that in some ways for many of those we interviewed September 11, 2001, is not yet history, for it is the antithesis of history, of continuity, and of time as we understand it.”


Opening of ‘Pinning Reading’s History’ Exhibition

Pinning Reading's HistoryWe are very excited to announce the opening of the ‘Pinning Reading’s History‘ exhibition at Reading Museum.

The exhibition features some of the amazing photos, films and stories collected so far from the people of Reading and shared by Reading Museum, Museum of English Rural Life, Reading Post, Reading Festival, Wessex Film and Sound Archive and English Heritage Archives.

Come down and have a look at what’s been added, explore Reading’s history and scan and pin your own photos.

3rd Sept – 8th January
Open Tues-Sun, 10am-4pm

Soane Space, Reading Museum
The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Berkshire RG1 1QH

Explore what’s been pinned to the map so far and pin your own.